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THR: What Next? After a Total Hip Replacement

THR, or total hip replacement, is a common but significant orthopedic surgery. It is usually performed after all other treatment options have been exhausted. Replacing the entire hip joint with an artificial joint is a major surgical procedure done to replace a diseased hip joint with one made from various materials, including metals, ceramics, and plastics. Your surgeon will carefully choose the right style and type of artificial hip joint best for your body.

An artificial hip is designed carefully to function just as a natural ball and socket hip joint does, including its movement patterns of adduction, abduction, flexion, extension, lateral rotation, and medial rotation.

  • Remember, too, that the hip’s primary work is to bear weight.
  • By adhering to your rehabilitation carefully, you can return to light activities and living independently in about three to six weeks.
  • Generally, it takes about an entire year or more to regain full strength and endurance around the hip joint and make a complete recovery.

It may be that you and your surgeon have decided that a total hip replacement is suitable based on all the factors regarding your health and life. You must follow their every recommendation for a successful recovery.

  • A fully functioning hip is essential for maintaining our independence.
  • The hip joint is needed for most activities of daily living, as it allows us to bend at the hip, lower the body to a seated position, and carry and lift items.
  • If we cannot bathe, toilet, dress, or complete other activities of daily living independently, we will need the help of another person.

One of the most important steps you can take towards a successful recovery actually occurs before your hip surgery.

  • Arrange to have help in your home after your surgery for errands, meals, and cleaning.
  • Take the time to remove things like rugs and anything that might be a tripping hazard.
  • Have a professional raise your toilet seat up, and put a shower seat and grab bar in your bathtub or shower. 

Typically, you will be given several month’s notice that you require surgery. It’s also likely that your hip is causing you pain and dysfunction.

  • Use this time to get in the best shape of your life! 
  • By going into surgery at a high fitness level, you reduce your risk of many surgical complications, improve your recovery time, and improve your rehabilitation!

Hip replacement surgery is a challenge to recover from, as it is a significant surgery involving one of the most essential joints of the body. The pain is substantial and can last for several weeks.

  • Once you are at home and on your own, you must follow your surgeon’s recommendations and those of your physiotherapist and occupational therapist. 
  • They have done hundreds if not thousands of total hip replacements, so do not take their words lightly.
  • Do not consider yourself unique or somehow exempt from their exercises.
  • If you are unsure how to complete an activity, ask them for clarification. 

When you attend your follow-up visits with your health care team, they will monitor your progress.  Remember, you are only cheating yourself and your future health if you skip out on your rehab activities, and your doctors will undoubtedly know. 

  • An easy exercise that will go a long way in your recovery is just walking!
  • You will begin with small distances and short durations and using a walker or cane for balance.
  • As time goes on, you will increase time and distance, thereby improving your strength, balance, and endurance.
  • It’s these small milestones that will build your hip function, strength, and endurance back to what it was pre-surgery.

Keep in mind that nowadays, total hip replacements are relatively commonplace and enjoy an excellent success rate. If you take the right amount of time to prepare your home and your body for the surgery and commit fully to your rehabilitation, your total hip replacement is more likely to be a huge success.

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